I received the latest crop development report yesterday and was amazed by the contract from a year ago. The July 23, 2012, report noted that top soil moisture was 99 percent short to very short and 80% of that was in the very short category. Fast forward to the July 22, 2013, report and topsoil moisture was 27 percent short to very short only 2 percent of that was in the very short category.
|Statewide Topsoil Moisture (USDA-Illinois)|
|July 23, 2012||80||19||1||–|
|July 22, 2013||2||25||64||9|
The US Drought Monitor looked a lot different between this year and last year in July (see figure below). Last year on July 24, 2012, all of Illinois was in some stage of drought and 71 percent was in the two worst stages. This year at about the same time – drought free.
We are watching conditions in western Illinois for developing dryness if they continue to miss the rains.